The Definitive Guide to Employee Onboarding in 2023

This guide dives into the transformative power of effective onboarding, emphasizing the innovative “First 90 Days” framework. Through this approach, we’ll explore how companies can ensure a smooth transition for new hires, setting them up for success from the outset.

What will you learn by the end of this guide? 🎓

  • The mechanics and importance of a robust onboarding strategy.
  • How to seamlessly integrate new hires, making them feel valued from day one.
  • Mastery of the “First 90 Days” framework, a proven approach to successful onboarding.

Why is it important? 💡

Onboarding is the first impression a company makes on its new hires.

A well-executed onboarding process fosters commitment, drives early productivity, and reduces turnover. In contrast, a lacklustre onboarding can lead to early exits and missed opportunities.

Here’s the step-by-step to do it: 🛠️

1️⃣ Pre-Onboarding: Setting the tone

Introductory Communications – Send a comprehensive welcome email outlining role expectations.

Example: “Hey [Name]! 🚀 We’re thrilled to welcome you aboard as our newest [Role, e.g., ‘Data Scientist’]. In the coming weeks, you’ll be working closely with the Product team, diving into [specific tasks e.g., ‘data modeling for our upcoming app’]. Remember, questions are the keys to clarity, so don’t hesitate to reach out.”

Resource Provision – Share a digital kit with insightful company materials.

Example: Share a Dropbox link containing a short welcome video from the CEO, a PDF on the company’s history, an organizational chart, and the company’s core values.

See: Remote Handbook 🔍

Technical Preparation – Ensure they’re technologically equipped from day one.

Example: Share a checklist that includes items like:

  • Slack installation and setup
  • Access to the company’s internal dashboard
  • Setting up email and calendar
  • A virtual tech walk-through scheduled for their first day

2️⃣ Onboarding: Mastering the First 90 Days

First 30 Days: Immersion Phase

1. Introductions – Facilitate either a physical or virtual tour.

Example: For remote employees: Schedule a Zoom call where different team leads give a brief about their teams. For in-office employees: A guided tour of the office space, with brief stops at different departments.

2. Training – Provide access to relevant training materials.

Example: Share access to an online portal containing video modules about the company’s software tools, industry best practices, and role-specific tasks.

3. Mentorship – Connect them with an experienced colleague for guidance.

Example: Pair them up with John, a senior team member, who has been with the company for 5+ years. Schedule weekly coffee catch-ups between them.

Next 30 Days: Integration Phase

1. Hands-on Engagement – Assign a team-centric project to showcase their skills.

Example: Assign the new hire to collaborate with the Marketing team on the upcoming product launch, allowing them to use and demonstrate their analytical skills.

2. Feedback Loop – Organize a feedback session to discuss their initial contributions.

Example: Schedule a feedback session with the project manager after the product launch to discuss their role, what went well, and areas of improvement.

3. Cross-departmental Interactions – Facilitate interactions with allied departments.

Example: Organize a lunch-and-learn with the Sales team to better understand the end-to-end process.

Final 30 Days: Reinforcement Phase

1. Review – Conduct a constructive review of their early contributions.

Example: Arrange a sit-down their direct manager to review their contributions, and team collaboration and gather feedback for the onboarding process.

2. Goal Setting – Initiate discussions about their long-term aspirations within the company.

Example: A meeting with their team lead to discuss potential areas they want to explore, such as taking up a leadership role in the future or diving deeper into a specific domain.

Post-Onboarding: Long-term Engagement

1. Continuous Learning – Advocate for ongoing educational opportunities.

Example: Offer them a choice of courses from platforms like Coursera or Udemy, sponsored by the company, that align with their role and growth.

2. Regular Dialogues – Prioritize consistent check-ins to maintain alignment.

Example: Monthly check-ins with their manager to discuss the past month’s achievements, any challenges faced, and the upcoming month’s goals.

Here’s an example of how you can map out their progress:

Image source:

Next steps 🚀:

  • Ensure onboarding processes are flexible to cater to various working environments.
  • Use proven methodologies like the “First 90 Days” to give depth to your onboarding process.

👋 By focusing on the critical initial phase of an employee’s journey, organizations can foster a sense of belonging, drive early engagement, and lay the groundwork for long-term retention and productivity.

Further resources 📚:

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